The Philippines is a captivating archipelago that embodies an irresistible charm and enchanting beauty. Famed for their verdant tropical forests, idyllic beaches, and crystal-clear waters, each Filipino island is a true journey of the senses.
The country’s hotels, graced by the warm hospitality of its people and the abundance of natural treasures, offer an unparalleled experience for travellers seeking adventure, discovery, and relaxation.
From soaring hilltop boutiques to luxury beachfront resorts, here are my favourite cool and unusual hotels in The Philippines (in no particular order)...
1. The Lind Boracay – a 5-star, hip, trendy and Instagrammable resort in a location perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs to explore
Redefining the meaning of coastal luxury, The Lind is one of the finest tropical hotels in the Philippines and is consistently ranked among the top hotels in Boracay Island.
Stylish and trendy, the rooms are drawn from a passion for the local culture, and exude warmth and comfort through elegant, bespoke décor. Having my own private, airy balcony with supreme views of the beach made every morning magnificent, and the amenities resembled those of a 5-star chain.
These included Malin + Goetz bathroom appliances, state-of-the-art coffee & tea making facilities, and accented rugs, melding luxurious comfort and contemporary artistry while embodying the Lind lifestyle.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Lind Boracay
2. Tag Resort – a new, Insta-worthy and cool resort perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs
Backdropped by the enchanted paradise of Coron, Tag Resort is characterized by its smooth finishes, boutique décor, and expansive grounds which centre around a shimmering lagoon pool.
The resort goes beyond the confines of the ordinary, where fun and relaxation are at the heart of the rustic interiors, which are touched by an indigenous craftmanship that makes for the most perfect photo shoot.
Statement pieces adorn every corner, bringing a quirky elegance to your Palawan island vacation. The hotel’s eco-friendly concept glimmers through its well-appointed furniture, guestroom embellishments, and exquisite dining options.
With luxuriant nature surrounding you at all times, eating, drinking and sleeping have never been so satisfying!
- To book, check prices or availability for Tag Resort
3. Crimson Resort and Spa – Mactan Island, Cebu – a stylish, 5-star and hip resort featuring an array of on-site activities for a memorable vacation
The Crimson nestles in one of The Philippines’ most prestigious tourist destinations, Cebu. It is a sprawling 6-hectare beach resort offering 40 luxurious private pool villas and 250 earth-toned guestrooms adorned with a bespoke neo-Asian style.
The resort’s infinity pool is without a doubt the best I have ever seen in Cebu, bounded by shimmering emerald waters and ivory sand and shaded by soaring, rustling palms.
On-site you will also find four restaurants and bars, a comprehensive array of water activities, and opportunities for indulging in pampering wellness treatments. From fancy dining to laid-back lounging, at Crimson every beverage and meal will be savoured in a beautiful atmosphere.
- To book, check prices or availability for Crimson Resort and Spa – Mactan Island, Cebu
4. Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay – one of the newest resorts in Boracay where guests can enjoy a fashionable, contemporary and elegant stay
Situated in an exclusive location uniquely coined as Station Zero, The Crimson is one of Boracay’s newest and coolest destinations.
In every corner of the property, breathtaking views extend across 3000 m2 of pristine white sand beach and crystal-clear waters, and each room is equipped with luxuriously modern facilities. This tropical haven combines elegant contemporary architecture with natural materials such as sand, stone and wood, enhanced by the warm ambience of Filipino island living.
My favourite of the hotel’s tantalizing evening options was the Azure Beach Club, where elegant dining, live music, and a buzzy atmosphere went hand in hand.
- To book, check prices or availability for Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay
5. Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort – a fun, trendy and lavish resort located on a private island in the heart of Davao Gulf
The epitome of beachfront luxury awaits at this soul-soothing resort, where tropical elegance meets gracious hospitality.
Nestled in the heart of Davao Gulf surrounded by coconut trees, white sand beaches and unique marine life, this is also the ultimate spot to indulge in water sports, pampering spa sessions, cultural and nature tours, and delectable dining experiences.
To reach the resort you can choose between a 30-minute high-speed boat transfer from Dusit Davao City Jetty, or a 60-minute luxury van shuttle where you can relax and soak up exceptional views through Davao’s banana and coconut plantations.
Thai wellness philosophies are embraced through new and unique treatments at the spa, which is an oasis of tranquillity upheld by wellness experts.
- To book, check prices or availability for Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort
6. Epic Suites by Bohol Social Club – a contemporary, relaxing and upscale hotel perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
I thought this hotel was the perfect choice for a romantic getaway, owing to its luxurious décor and soul-soothing views.
A charming array of private sea-view pools gives these suites a sense of luxury that’s truly difficult to top. Staying here is like entering a world of imagination, where comfort and seclusion prevail, and high-end amenities provide elegance and sophistication.
Whether you choose to gaze out across the sea from your private terrace or pool, savour delicious international cuisine in the atmospheric restaurant, or socialize with like-minded travellers, this eclectic property will fill your vacation with a sense of enchantment.
- To book, check prices or availability for Epic Suites by Bohol Social Club
7. Coast Boracay – a bright, modern and chic hotel providing guests with a beachfront location
Nestled on the powdery sands of Boracay’s White Beach, this 71-room architectural masterpiece offers excitement in every corner with its crafted cuisine, relaxing accommodations, and highly attentive service.
Each unit boasts accented pieces handmade by skilled Mindanao weavers, which keeps the style both local and modern. The property’s colourful murals and pineapple-stencilled walls are fit for a one-of-a-kind Instagram shoot, and your stresses are guaranteed to melt away in the shimmering lap pools.
I thought the on-site Cha Cha Beach Café, inspired by the most popular beach destinations in the world, was the perfect spot to revel in creative cocktails, and the food here is top-notch!
- To book, check prices or availability for Coast Boracay
8. Ultra Mint Dive Resort – a chic, new and beach-inspired resort that blends traditional Philippine style with the gorgeous surrounding nature
Newly built in 2021, the mission of Ultra Mint is to guide guests to embrace nature, discover traditions, and revel in the blissful spirit of Panglao.
The resort is a mix of a minimalist design with a clean tropical style, which blends effortlessly with the surrounded nature.
The ultimate experience of serenity is provided by the harmonious combination of wood, bamboo, and stone, bringing an air of laid-back luxury to the stylishly decorated rooms. I thought the café, which is surrounded by palm trees and crystal-clear waters, was the ultimate spot for a quick break from the sun.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ultra Mint Dive Resort
9. Surfing Temple Hotel Boutique – a stunning, stylish and rustic hotel within walking distance of General Luna Beach
Situated a quick, peaceful stroll from General Luna Beach, this graceful boutique hotel brings the essence of nature to your Philippines holiday.
The charming surrounds are reflected by a beautiful selection of plants sprinkled around the property, which made me feel like I had landed in the middle of the jungle! There’s plenty of open-air space where you can soak up the serene atmosphere, and recline on comfy furniture designed by local craftsmen.
This hotel is quintessential South-East Asia at its best – it is a step back the hustle and bustle and designed with relaxation and harmony at the core.
- To book, check prices or availability for Surfing Temple Hotel Boutique
10. Frangipani El Nido – a rustic-chic, tranquil and spacious boutique hotel where guests can enjoy an Insta-worthy view of the famous Karst Limestones and Bacuit Bay
Immerse yourself in refined elegance and total relaxation at this gorgeous El Nido property, which overlooks the world-renowned Bacuit Bay from a stunning vantage point.
The property boasts a shimmering outdoor pool with direct beach access, and consists of 7 suites with a capacity of 16 guests, offering both intimacy and opulence.
Dining here is a stand-out experience, with the Cala Restaurant showcasing recipes that focus on classic comfort meals with a contemporary twist, set on a picture-perfect beachfront.
My partner and I booked a romantic starlit evening of dining on the sand, accompanied by the sound of waves and flickering candles – an unrivalled experience that will stay with us forever!
- To book, check prices or availability for Frangipani El Nido
11. ABC Hotel – a cool, themed and unique hotel perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
ABC offers endless opportunities to capture an authentic Filipino spirit, and brims with party facilities and gimmicks.
From the KTV rooms to the private dance stages, the resort offers the perfect spots for an extraordinary blowout amid the country’s tropical charm. Wellness and fitness concepts are expertly blended together with a healthy dose of fantasy and playfulness here, and the food and beverage options are top-notch.
From the unconventional Millionaire Spa & lounge to the fusion Asian restaurant, my entire experience here was imbued with an ambient, soul-soothing setting. If you’re in the mood for Western food, the on-site Vintage Hall is an extremely hip and fashionable dining hotspot serving trendy and artisanal cuisine for breakfast, brunch, and dinner.
- To book, check prices or availability for ABC Hotel
12. Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa Managed by HII – a vibrant, quirky and lifestyle resort in close proximity to local popular attractions
Located at the gateway to El Nido, Hue is one of my favourite Puerto Princesa accommodations. The quaint swimming pool, set on the roof deck, offers sprawling ocean views and invites you to relax atop cosy lounge beds and grab a drink from a vibrant pool bar.
The rooms here are both intimate and functional and are decorated with a polished minimalist motif, Machuca tile accents, and iridescent pops of colour.
The hotel’s interiors embody the tranquil feeling of island life, with a swathe of smooth textures and a dynamic mix of materials creating a sense of richness throughout.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa Managed by HII
13. H Hotel El Nido – Vegetarian Vegan Hotel – a sleek, elegant and modern hotel surrounded by several restaurants, bars and shopping boutiques
H Hotel invites you to reconnect with loved ones in the heart of paradise. Nestled within a hub of energy and style, El Nido’s many boutiques, restaurants and bars are situated a short stroll from the property.
Meanwhile the sweeping uninterrupted views of El Nido Bay from your private terrace will make you feel blissfully detached from normal life.
You can find peace and solace in the on-site oriental spa, as well as the outdoor Sky Bar. Up here, the ethereal live beats and phenomenal first-class service from talented mixologists provides the ultimate opportunity to seize the night and relish El Nido’s natural wonders.
- To book, check prices or availability for H Hotel El Nido – Vegetarian Vegan Hotel
14. North Zen Villas – an upscale, modern and serene resort featuring a spa and wellness center
These eclectic villas invite you to enjoy the tranquillity of a well-kept nature reserve, eloquently transformed into a haven of wellness and relaxation.
Situated amongst a picturesque forest of mangroves, the hum of nature and the authentic Filipino ambience accompany you at all times here. Luxury and elegance are woven throughout the 21 rooms and villas, through an eccentric mix of modern design and Filipino traditions.
A stay here is also a treat for the tastebuds, with the famous SEADS restaurant offering delicious farm-to-table cuisine and the Nest Bar providing an idyllic spot for signature cocktails and refreshments.
- To book, check prices or availability for North Zen Villas
15. Cauayan Island Resort and Spa – a lavish, elegant and tranquil where guests can experience a rejuvenating stay
Cauayan Island Resort, bringing together the organic unity of Filipino craftmanship and nature’s own design, offers a true journey of the senses.
The resort boasts five different types of villa, offering unique perspectives of the island’s majesty. From the mouth-watering fusion dishes of the first-class restaurant to the expertly curated wellness sessions at the spa, each experience here left a lasting impression on my heart.
The staff here are amazing, and will help you arrange breath-taking experiences such as island-hopping excursions, diving trips, jungle treks, and sunset cruises. Throughout your stay you will be greeted with awe-inspiring views of the island’s surrounding waters.
- To book, check prices or availability for Cauayan Island Resort and Spa
16. Punta Punta Surf Retreat – a unique, charming and newly renovated retreat ideal for those who love water sports
With the backdrop of lapping waves, palm tree shadows and sun-kissed sunsets, the secret Punta Punta Surf Retreat nestles in Siargao, where the ultimate sense of barefoot freedom awaits.
Offering the most blissful slice of island life, the resort lies within a sleepy local village, which not long ago was accessible only by jungle road or private boat. I loved the sense of community at this eco-friendly resort, and I was given the chance to fully immerse in the local culture.
The plant-based, adventure-fuel menu at the hotel’s restaurant was absolutely delicious, and the bonfire evenings and moonrise cocktail sessions were unforgettable.
- To book, check prices or availability for Punta Punta Surf Retreat
17. Kookoo’s nest eco-lodge – a traditional, ec0-friendly and beautiful retreat steps away from the ocean
Comprised of seven beautifully rustic bamboo beach cottages, Kookoo’s nest is embedded within a supreme pocket of woodland that slopes steeply down to the edge of a secluded sandy cove.
Simplicity and recreation are at the core of the hotel’s undertakings, and the vibe is enhanced by golden sunsets, great food, and the colourful surrounding coral reefs.
The cottages have been beautifully built by craftsmen from Antulang village, making use of locally grown bamboo and leaves of the Nipa-palm.
A memorable experience here was embarking on a world-class diving excursion around the surrounding reefs, and other offerings include kayak rentals, snorkelling trips, and outings around the nearby mangroves.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kookoo’s nest eco-lodge
18. Takatuka Beach Resort – a quirky, vibrant and funky accommodation located on Sugar Beach
As I entered Takatuka for the first time, I immediately forgot all about everyday life and was won over by the scintillating setting of palm trees and tropical plants.
This unique, funky resort is a colourful alternative to an ordinary vacation in The Philippines, with the interiors dressed in a hip flair. The harmony of colours embodies the high level of craftmanship that has gone into the hotel’s construction, and comfort, class, and cleanliness prevail throughout.
Nestled directly on the fine sandy Sugar Beach, the most beautiful spot on Negros Island, this is more than just a place to sleep – It’s a place to retreat to a simpler way of life.
- To book, check prices or availability for Takatuka Beach Resort
19. Mandala Tribe Treehouses – a beautiful, unique and peaceful accommodation offering guests an à la carte, American and Asian breakfast each morning
If you’re in pursuit of something totally different, these treehouses will provide just that. Having my own individual, elevated villa was an amazing experience, providing me with the opportunity to hide away in the heart of nature, with verdant greenery at every turn.
Each unit is graced by a rustic cabin-like aesthetic and thatched roofs, yet offers the amenities of a luxury resort. From the private wrap-around veranda to the outdoor bathroom, every element of my treehouse was enchanting.
The à la carte breakfast on-site is equally top-notch, and the communal atmosphere come dinner time added a homely touch.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mandala Tribe Treehouses
20. Tropical Temple Siargao Resort – a relaxing, rustic and stunning accommodation in the heart of Siargao Island
Imbued with luxuriant greenery and an elegant island way of life, this tropical-inspired retreat brims with a boho-chic flair.
Each bungalow unit is embedded within a swathe of soaring palms and exotic plants, and is adorned with quirky wall art, plush bed linens, and graceful rattan elements. There’s also dorm room options, catering to the budget-conscious traveller in search of a blissful sense of disconnection.
Sandy pathways separate each accommodation, and strolling through the property’s lush grounds brings to light an authentic and romantic Filipino spirit. There’s a quaint, palm-fringed pool area dotted by sunbeds where you can take a refreshing afternoon dip.
- To book, check prices or availability for Tropical Temple Siargao Resort
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.